A Kamloops councillor who was concerned about people smoking cannabis on public sidewalks prior to legalization concedes the sky has not fallen — or been filled with a musty haze — in the months since recreational pot became legal.
“In the seven, eight months that we’ve had this legalized, it has not been an issue anyone has raised,” Coun. Arjun Singh said.
Provincial and municipal regulations do not ban cannabis smoking on city sidewalks.
Two Kamloops bylaws prohibit people from lighting up in places like city facilities, parks, playgrounds, beaches and hospitals, while B.C.’s Cannabis Control and Licensing Act addresses cannabis “consumption” (purposefully left vague to include edibles when they become legal later this year) in specific places, similar to city bylaws.
Sidewalks, however, were determined to be a grey zone, causing concern prior to legalization for Singh and former councillor Tina Lange, both of whom asked staff to bring forward a ban.
“I think that, ultimately, people smoking cannabis in public spaces has a whole new added dimension than just tobacco smoke, in terms of even intoxication factor and those kinds of things from second-hand smoke,” Singh said at the time, while Lange was concerned about impacts on youth and being intoxicated on the streets.
City property-use inspector Dave Jones said the city determined additional regulations were not required prior to legalization.
He said most cannabis users are taking the product home or going to a private location.
“People thought, they’re going to be walking down the street, somebody’s going to be smoking a joint and it’s going to blow it in my face,” Jones said.
“It just hasn’t happened.”